Road Rules: Changes Coming For Drivers & Cyclists

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File photo / Credit: News Now Finland

Proposed changes to road traffic laws are likely to be seen by anyone who uses the country’s roads.

Among the possible changes being discussed by politicians: changing yellow barrier lines to white; more flexible use of winter tyres; and whether bicycle helmets need to be worn at all.

Winter Tyres

It’s almost time to look out winter tyres from storage. In Finland it’s currently compulsory to put winter tyres on cars from December onwards, but studded tyres can be used already in November if the weather is bad.

However, changes to those rules could be among the biggest shakeups if the new legislation is approved.

According to the proposals, winter tires should be used from November to March only if weather conditions require it. So if the weather is mild and there’s no snow or ice, you wouldn’t need to change into studded tyres.

“It’s no longer necessary to drive with winter tires in December if it’s summer weather,” says Kimmo Kiiski, from the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Bicycle Safety

Another important issue which will be looked at, is whether reflectors and bike helmets should be required.

The question of whether to abandon the recommendations for using bicycle helmets and reflectors, or imposing sanctions on people who fail to use them, is on the agenda.

The committee thinks that bike safety is not something which can be legislated on, and instead they would like to see more campaigns in schools and day care centres to teach the important of using helmets and reflectors.

Yellow Lines / White Lines

A noticeable change for all motorists would be that yellow lines on roads would be changed to white.

White gives better visibility, is more clearly noticed by computers, and are used internationally as well.

But according to some experts, white lines won’t show up so easily in winter weather.

Robot Car Reforms

Road traffic laws are being reformed in part, to prepare for automation and driverless vehicles.

The new legislation wouldn’t define drivers as people, but opens up the possibility that a computer could drive the car. A road user could be an operator driving the car remotely from outside a vehicle – something which already happens, as the newest car models make it possible to park the car with the help of a smartphone app.